HOPES are high that plans for a pipe to prevent flooding in Hambledon will get the go-ahead.
Councillor Roy Perry, Hampshire County Council’s leader, attended a meeting with floods minister Dan Rogerson in London yesterday to inform him of the flooding problems residents in the village face.
It comes as plans for a pipe costing almost £4m were recently announced. The council is funding almost £2.5m of it – but support is needed from the government to provide the rest of the cash.
Cllr Perry said: ‘We made it very clear that although the number of people affected was small alongside other areas, the length of time that people in Hambledon suffered was exceptional.
‘They appreciated the problems of groundwater flooding which isn’t common and not well understood.
‘We are prepared to put a significant sum of money in to help the situation in Hambledon. We hope that will encourage the government to be responsive.
‘I’m hoping that the government is beginning to get an appreciation of the situation, particularly with groundwater flooding.’
The pipe would be more than a mile long and be built in sections of about 20ft.
George Hollingbery is the MP for the Meon Valley. He added: ‘The major problem with Hambledon is it’s groundwater flooding. The terrible thing about this sort of flooding is that it goes on for weeks.
‘The solution is a very large pipe going down the high street to take away the surface water. I hope that we will get the funding for the project.’
Tony Higham is the chairman of the Hambledon Flood Action Group.
He said: ‘We owe it to these people to sort this unacceptable situation out.
‘To those 17 householders who were flooded with water or sewage and all those mothers who couldn’t get their children to school or couldn’t go out of their houses because it was too dangerous.
‘To all those people, having this pipe will make a massive difference.’
Last week, Greg Barker, a minister of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, toured the village and met people who had been flooded during the winter storms.